Penguins ready for Game 5 tonight

Chris Harlan
| Friday, April 20, 2012

Whether the Flyers use goalie Ilya Bryzgalov or Sergei Bobrovsky, it doesn't make a difference to Penguins center Sidney Crosby.

"You don't change anything because of the goalie you're playing," Crosby said after today's morning pregame skate at Consol Energy Center. The Penguins and Flyers resume their Eastern Conference quarterfinals series at 7:30 tonight with Game 5.

The Flyers are expected to start Bryzgalov, who has allowed 17 goals in this series. The goalie struggled in Wednesday's start and was pulled after allowing five goals. He was replaced by Bobrovsky, who also allowed five goals.

"Whether a goalie is playing really well or not ... you can't change what you're doing out there," Crosby said. "That means you're thinking and not reacting, and that's usually when you get in trouble. You've just got to trust the habits that you have, and those things usually end up showing through."

The Penguins trail the series, 3-1, and would be eliminated with another loss. Game 6 would be Sunday in Philadelphia.

Both teams are missing a key defenseman. The injured Nicklas Grossmann will not play, Flyers coach Peter Laviolette said after his team's workout. The Penguins will be without Paul Martin, who also missed Game 4.

With Martin out, Penguins coach Dan Bylsma might again dress an extra defenseman. He used seven Wednesday, including rookies Simon Despres and Brian Strait.

The Flyers had found success — especially in Games 1 and 2 — by matching Grossmann and Braydon Coburn against the Penguins' top scoring line. Evgeni Malkin was held without a goal in both games.

But the 6-foot-4, 230-pound Grossmann sustained an upper-body injury Wednesday in Game 4. Rookie Eric Gustafsson will replace him.

"There may be circumstances where you look to have that in your favor," said Bylsma, who credited the Grossmann-Coburn matchup more than the Flyers checking line of Sean Couturier, Max Talbot and Zac Rinaldo for having slowed Malkin early in the series.

"They've done a good job of having Grossmann and Coburn play in defensive situations," Bylsma said. "That was a factor here at home. It wasn't the Couturier line against Malkin, which didn't happen all that much. They had Coburn and Grossmann on the ice a lot in those situations."

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